In case you’ve been in a coma for the past six months, people weren’t happy about Kanye West headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury festival. With over 100,000 people signing an online petition to remove the polarising hip-hop star from the main stage, some going even as far to send death threats to the event organisers regarding Mr. West’s appointment, it was crystal clear that the Chicago-native’s Saturday night performance was going to be a divisive one.
Opening up underneath a tray of hot-white lights shrouded by smoke, the rapper exploded onto the stage with hit Graduation single ‘Stronger’ to start an intense set that listed tunes from all seven of his award-winning platinum albums, including less notable songs, not normally native to Kanye West performances such as ‘I Wonder’ and finishing his lively set with his College Dropout classic ‘All Falls Down’.
The self-acclaimed ‘greatest living rockstar on the planet’ also played several of his impressive collaborative songs, working on stage with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon to perform ‘Lost In The World’ and ‘Hold My Liquor’, whilst also performing crowd-pleasing anthems like G.O.O.D Music’s ‘Clique’ and house-party stronghold ‘Niggas In Paris’.
After an hour and a quarter into the set Kanye abruptly told his DJ Mike Dean to stop playing ‘Touch the Sky’, when only minutes later reappearing in the skies on one of those cranes you see BT using to fix your telephone wires. Replaying the Late Registration hit, Kanye revitalised the crowd after a drowsy 15 minute period in the middle of the show to remind Glastonbury that the best live performer is Yeezus himself.
The live show, much like many events Kanye West is involved in, was met with obstacles and controversy. Desperate ‘Comedian’ Lee Nelson invaded the stage during Mr. West’s performance of ‘Black Skinhead’, solidifying the belief that the only thing Nelson will be remembered for is being in photographs stood next to more accomplished people than himself.
Kanye also performed a rendition of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, of which you can probably guess what people thought about that. Seriously, I don’t even want you to look at those comments- I’ll sum it up for you: a bunch of people who know more about ‘real music’ crying out that Freddie Mercury would be rolling in his grave, multiple times.
Kanye West didn’t win over all of his critics with his Glastonbury performance- just looking at the Daily Mail comments section will tell you that 48-year-old women will wail that artists like Yeezy are ruining music and teenagers of today don’t know what good music is anymore- when these same women haven’t been in touch with the music industry since 1994.
But Mr. West’s performance was blatantly spellbinding for his devoted hip-hop followers and modern-day music critics who had eagerly anticipated the show since the announcement of him headlining earlier on in the year- and that was all he needed to do. Kanye West is one of a small handful of people that just cannot completely change the public perception of him- so the next best thing to do would be to deliver a stellar show to those who adored him. It would prove difficult to deliver on the amount of hype that had built up Mr. West’s 10:15 PM show, but Kanye’s aggressive style of performance proved that he was worthy of the illustrious Pyramid Stage, whether 133,000 petition signers liked it or not.
To watch Kanye West’s Glastonbury 2015 performance, click here